Strange happenings at an archaeological dig; family connections dredged up from the distant past; a full complement of oddball characters; mysterious convergences between past and present: this is the stuff of Peter Ackroyd's First Light (Grove, 1989).
The book operates on several different and not entirely equally successful levels. As a meditation on meta-connections between mythology and science, the cosmos, time, and humanity's place in the universe, I have to say I didn't really find it all that compelling. But as a sort of campy romp through rural England with strange characters and bizarre humor, I thought it worked quite well. Maybe not entirely what Ackroyd was going for, but it kept me reading.